The Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association has demonstrated time and time again that either it does not understand, nor care about this vital sector Tourism.
For years now, we as Tour Operators, Tour Guides, and Taxi Drivers, have been taking tourists and visitors, to among one of the many stops – the Nutmeg processing plant at Gouyave, which is an interesting site for tourists visiting Grenada.
However, for years now most of us have been making complains to the plant at Gouyave about the traffic congestion on a major cruise ship day and the need to create and make more space for the big coaches that are now being used within the sector.
We now have the 29-seaters among lots of 15-seater buses, which obviously will be affecting the traffic in a serious way.
The G.C.N.A. has shown neither concern nor any appreciation for the situation as they still continue to park two of their largest trucks, which literally take up all of the parking spaces in front of the nutmeg station most time during visits.
I have observed that the trucks are not engaged in immediate use at the moment and they are fully aware, well in advance that over six thousand cruise passengers will be visiting the Island on that particular day.
These Trucks can be moved for about three hours to accommodate the visitors who pay a lot of money to the said nutmeg station in entrance fees and the purchasing of so many spices and other by-products. They contribute a sizeable amount to G.C.N.A revenue collection.
Up until now, no one paid any attention to this burning problem and it has been going on for some time now.
There is also a parking lot at the Anglican School Yard, but it is very had for the Big Coaches to get in there.
I am therefore, calling on the persons in charge to please address this with great urgency. These two vital sectors should not be competing against each other but rather complementing each other.
Let us all play a greater role in these hard economic times and exceed the visitor’s expectation, making it easier for them to spend more money and therefore vowing to return to the Island.
As a result, this also affects the Hotel guests who are touring around the island, and having to visit the same station.
In addressing tourism, we have a lot more work to do, we should have taken notice about the drop in Cruise passenger arrivals to the Island, due to Grenada’s geographical location.
Let us remember that Sandals alone cannot do the job. I therefore urge the persons who sit in their Air-conditioned offices within the Ministries of Tourism, and the Grenada Board of Tourism, to please get out there and witness what is happening for themselves.
When they do that, they will have a better idea as to how these burning concerns can be best handled.
Not too long ago, I had a different experience at the Grenville Nutmeg Station, when I had arrived there with eighteen tourists, and the Tour Guide was on lunch.
He sat there, he and his colleagues continued to play their game of cards. We waited for over thirty minutes – like nobody is concerned.
That cannot be any form of improvement – we are still operating in the 1950s, we are still ignorant about modern day development and the importance of time.
Are you telling me that a system could not have been in place to either, pay another guide or double the payment only for that hour for the said guide, so the 18 tourist would not have had to wait for 30 minutes.
Let us not forget that tourism contributed well over 290 million dollars while agriculture contributed 50 million.
We have a long way to go. Please wake up and smell the Coffee.